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Ballarat GovHub promotes timber use

Australian timber industry news - Thu, 20/06/2019 - 03:19
The successful use of timber in the construction of the $100 million Ballarat GovHub will see the Victorian State Government preference timber in the future Bendigo GovHub. Speaking at the 2019 Timber Offsite Construction conference in Melbourne Neil Anderson, the group head Property Development Victoria, said that with the Ballarat project the tender had specified concrete or timber. Source: Timberbiz But he said from the lessons learned at Ballarat, timber would be the first preference now for Bendigo. “That’s our preference,” Mr Anderson said. “We’d love to do a timber building and that’s where we’ve started. “We’ll cross-check it (with concrete) but that’s our preference from the beginning,” he said. The Bendigo GovHub will place more workers in central Bendigo and help centralise the delivery of a range of government services and revitalise the northern-end of the city. The City of Greater Bendigo and a range of Victorian Government departments and agencies will be co-located in the new building, making it home for up to 1000 employees, including 100 new positions, 20 of which have already been allocated following the announcement the Victorian Labour Hire Licensing Authority will be set up in Bendigo in 2019. The development of Bendigo GovHub will inject around $90 million into the regional economy and create numerous construction jobs over the course of the build. Work is expected to begin next year and be completed by 2022.

FSC launches comprehensive Canandian standard

Australian timber industry news - Thu, 20/06/2019 - 03:07
After six years of rigorous consultation with industry, environment, social stakeholders and indigenous groups the Forest Stewardship Council has launched a comprehensive new standard for responsible forest management in Canada. Source: Timberbiz The new standard targets the most pressing issues threatening Canadian forests today, including the woodland caribou crisis; the rights of indigenous peoples; workers’ rights including gender equity; conservation; and landscape management “We are facing some of the most important issues in Canadian forest management history,” Francois Dufresne, president, FSC Canada said. “It was important for FSC to equally involve a diverse group of experts and interests to establish a new national framework that can be adopted across the entire forest industry.” FSC has certified 200 million hectares globally, with over 50 million hectares in Canada The updated standard consolidates FSC’s existing, four regional standards into one national standard that has been amended to strengthen Canadian forests and the people, flora and fauna that depend on them. The recommendations range from physical solutions such as buffer zones around waterways to keep streams and rivers clean to ones that thread the social fabric, such as indigenous involvement in forestry planning and gender equity throughout the industry. FSC offers a respected and recognized standard for sustainable forest management, in part because it solicits and equally balances input from a diverse membership to achieve solutions to complex challenges, including recognition of Indigenous rights, along with the balance of conservation and economic opportunity. FSC’s member groups and organizations include Kimberly-Clark, Rayonier Advanced Materials, Rainforest Alliance, Wolf Lake First Nation, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, UBC, Greenpeace Canada and many others.

Komatsu Forestry launches new models at SkogsNolia

Australian timber industry news - Thu, 20/06/2019 - 03:04
Komatsu Forestry has launched an upgraded product range at forestry expo SkogsNolia, with the majority of the machines new. The machines are equipped with a brand-new engine installation conforming to the latest emission legislation. The new, future-proof control system, MaxiXT, was also launched. Source: Timberbiz The company presented a number of quality improvements and new functions to simplify day-to-day tasks for machine operators and to increase profitability. These include the new MaxiVision service, which takes production planning to a whole new level. All 2020 harvester models have been upgraded, from the Komatsu 901 thinning harvester through to the eight-wheel Komatsu 931XC and the Komatsu 951. Among the forwarders, the three largest – the Komatsu 855, 875 and 895 models – have been upgraded. A feature will be the brand-new engine installation, which conforms to the latest emission legislation (Stage V). It also offers many other benefits, such as an all-new AdBlue system, a new exhaust system and hydraulic tappets. Despite the new, larger engine installation, the machine will retain the same slim design with good all-round visibility. Another new announcement is the MaxiXT control system, the machine’s nervous system, controlling everything from the engine to the crane and the head. In connection with this, the Automatic Central Lubrication option is now integrated with MaxiXT, making it easy to monitor from the cab. On harvesters the grease tank has been doubled in size, meaning less refilling for the operator. MaxiXT brings with it improved anti-theft measures as the operator must log in to the system to start the machine, or else use a remote key with a unique operator ID. As for the forwarders, they have been upgraded in a number of areas. Smaller but important details, such as better wear plates on the front blade, longer wiper blades on the side windows and less reflection from the gate. A much-requested new forwarder feature is the SpeedShift option – a smart solution that enables the operator to use the machine’s full speed range without having to stop to change gear. This makes travelling to the landing faster and, as the collapsible steering wheel has been replaced with a handy mini steering wheel, driving there is also more straightforward. Another new addition is the Overspeed Protection option, protecting key transmission components from over-revving. On harvesters, offroad manoeuvrability has been improved in several areas. Parts of the rear axle have been redesigned, providing higher ground clearance and making it easier to tackle steep ditches and other obstacles in challenging terrain. On top of this, both the tractive force and the power steering have been refined, improving offroad manoeuvrability and increasing productivity. Harvester operators will also notice a large number of additional storage spaces, as well as practical finesses such as a portable lamp to better facilitate servicing. Moving on to the heads, there is the new Komatsu C164, which is a perfect match for the Komatsu 951. This head is based on the same technology as the C124 and C144 models, with the stem held up by the feed rollers and the delimbing knives used primarily for delimbing. The head has four powered feed rollers and the Constant Cut function, ensuring an even cutting speed throughout the cutting cycle. In addition to the new machine features, a brand-new service – MaxiVision – is also being launched as part of MaxiFleet. MaxiVision helps the operator to visualise the current state and conditions of the forest. Different map views provide the operator with data about ground conditions and the rest of the team’s production, enabling them to plan their work as efficiently as possible and with minimal forest impact. Since the service is cloud-based, updates occur in real time and any changes are immediately seen on-screen in the cab.

Fire sparks concern over use of timber in multi-storey buildings

Australian timber industry news - Thu, 20/06/2019 - 03:03
Following a number of concerns raised after a serious fire at the Samuel Garside House development in Barking in the UK recently, timber industry associations, the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) and Wood Protection Association (WPA), are clear that the failure to specify an industrial fire retardant pre-treatment for the timber balconies and cladding used on the front of the building, was completely inappropriate in the circumstances. Source: Timberbiz The six-storey building in De Pass Gardens featured timber balconies, balcony dividers and extensive balustrading, so much so that it resembled and has been referred to as, timber cladding. In the UK media, a fire expert called for tighter regulations in the wake of the blaze. The fire has also led to architects saying that it has caused them to rethink the use of timber. According to the TTF and WPA, a lack of a flame retardant treatment combined with multiple small cross sections of timber with plenty of air movement around each panel, created this unnecessary fire risk. TTF and WPA collectively agreed that treatment was essential in this situation, even though it would appear that this was not required by Building Regulations and the project was subsequently approved by Building Control. TTF Managing Director Dave Hopkins stated that “If a comprehensive fire risk assessment had been conducted on this design it would have been clear that additional protection was required in these particular circumstances”. It has emerged that the timber supplied for the project had a ‘Euroclass D, s2, d0’ reaction to fire rating. Flame retardant pre-treatments are readily available which could have upgraded the timber components to the more appropriate, much higher Class B rating. If that had been done, the timber decking and cladding would have performed very differently. Such industrial flame-retardant processes are subject to independent quality assurance under a well-respected scheme operated by the WPA. “The privatisation of Building Control services in the UK does not help in these situations. Building Control service providers are nervous about specifying standards higher than strictly required by Building Regulations (even if appropriate as was the case at Barking), in case the contractor switches to another service provider who will approve the design at the lower standard and cost. Indeed, this point was also highlighted in the Hackitt review in the aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy,” Gordon Ewbank, WPA Chief Executive said. In conclusion, flame retardant treated wood cladding has proved fit for purpose over many years of successful service around the world and continues to meet the requirements of UK Building Regulations. If pre-treatment had been carried out in this case, the timber decking and cladding would have performed very differently.

Wood to tackle global challenges for the future of the planet

Australian timber industry news - Thu, 20/06/2019 - 03:02
Wood is definitely the material of the 21st century – reusable, with benefits beyond lightness and ease of use such as health and wellbeing. That was a key message from Duncan Mayes, head of innovation and emerging business at Timberlink, to the Frame Australia Timber Offsite Construction conference this week in Melbourne. He was speaking on wood as the sustainable solution to tackle global challenges. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz Mr Mayes said wood had a clear role to play in the transition to the circular economy. The topic was relatively new in Australia, but in construction, it would become a requirement. “The end-of-life factors of material and the construction method will be taken into account,” he said. These factors would be dealt with in the design stage. “We need to ensure what we leave for our grandchildren will not cause significant challenges,” he said. Mr Mayes said design would include the whole life cycle of components and buildings through to disassembly and re-using the material at end of a building’s life. “I will be interesting to see how reinforced concrete will deal with this challenge, as concrete as a building system is extremely challenged in terms of reprocessing and re-using, as it’s very energy intensive, especially in brownfield developments,” he said. “On the flip side, wood-based elements and components are easy to disassemble – unscrew, reposition, relocate and reuse.” This put wood in a very strong position in the circular economy, but more education was needed on this in Australia. Mr Mayes said another influencing factor was the energy efficiency of buildings. He showed a thermo-image of old terrace housing in Britain, where red hot spots pointed to where the energy was leaking out. “Traditionally up to 45% of the heat loss in buildings has gone through those poorly insulated walls and rooves,” he said. In the past 10-15 years however, initiatives in the UK had led to the use of far more thermally-efficient window systems, resulting in improvements to overall building performance. Mr Mayes, who has been in Australia for six months, said there was less focus on thermal insulation here. Given the large climate extremes in Australia, with temperatures ranging from 45-degrees Celsius down to cold Melbourne winter days of 5-10 degrees, “we need to be able to rethink the way the buildings are built, and the functionality of walls and rooves”. After a small experiment, he was almost shocked at the inefficiency of the aluminium window and doors in his new apartment in Bayside Melbourne. Mr Mayes started measuring the surface temperature performance of his window and door frames. The lowest temperature was 13deg C and the highest temperature was 56deg C on the surface of his aluminium frames. “It’s logical – aluminium has a thermal rating of more than 200 times of wood, so it’s obvious the temperature of both cold and hot will transfer through this material unless there is an efficient thermal break,” he said Even with double glazing, the weak point became the frames and the sashes. “I can’t comprehend these frames are allowed to be used when you need thermally efficient buildings. There is a definite need to improve on that front,” he said. “Wood is an excellent insulator.” Solar shading was also limited in Australia, but our forefathers did understand how to build based on climate conditions. “The Queenslander is an excellent example of a building design and structure,” he said. It took the climate into account, focussing on solar shading, natural ventilation – no need for expensive energy-using air-conditioning – and used natural renewable wood materials helped to buffer energy and moisture. “It’s exciting to have architecture that looks different, but you need to look at the macro-climate environment and how best to design,” he said. Mr Mayes said research that had been evolving in the past few years showed wood’s benefits for health and wellbeing in buildings. The research focussed on temperature and thermal comfort, humidity, acoustics and aesthetics – the primary factors influencing wellbeing. “We spend 80%-90%of time inside a building so we need to feel comfortable inside buildings,” he said. A study in Slovenia, Finland and Norway found that natural softwood materials and stone were rated continuously by consumers as having the highest “naturalness” rating. Plastic and steel were at a low level, while MDF and some engineered wood products such as particleboard were in the middle, although there were some variations in cultures and nationalities. Mr Mayes said the love of ‘naturalness’ was due to urban society feeling more and more separated from nature. These trends were also found in Planet Ark research into consumer feelings towards materials. “Wood comes out well, in terms of a cosy environment, visually appealing, etc, so we have a lot of potential benefits of wood in terms of appearance,” he said. Mr Mayes said very interesting work was being done on some of the components in wood, such as natural antioxidants. Research was showing that on a wood surface, ecoli and bacteria died relative quickly compared with ceramic, glass and plastic. “Wood has some active functionality,” he said. Wood also had certain acoustic properties. “Due to the cellulite nature of wood, it works as a sound absorber. It operates well at medium to high frequency level, such as a voice,” he said. However low frequency noise such as external traffic required a higher mass. “We need to combine these – high density material for low sound and using wood with cellular properties in the high frequency sounds,” he said. Mr Mayes said there was research into moisture buffeting and keeping surfaces clean. Work in Finland was developing the next generation of coatings for wood, which will create resistance both to liquid water from going into the wood and humidity being absorbed in and out of the wood, he said.

KiwiRail completes Napier-Wairoa line for logs

Australian timber industry news - Thu, 20/06/2019 - 03:01
KiwiRail has completed the restoration of the Napier to Wairoa rail line and is now in the final stages of preparing to run trains to get the district’s logs to market. Source: Timberbiz “With work on the line complete, our next focus is to establish a log-hub in Wairoa so we are ready to begin running trains once harvesting gets back into full swing at the end of winter,” KiwiRail Group Chief Executive Greg Miller said. “We know from our discussions with the forestry industry there is a need for our services. “The amount of timber flowing from forests in the region is expected to quadruple in the next four years, and to get all those logs to market will require all transport networks working efficiently together. “The funding we have received from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund to restore this line means we will be ready to meet the growing demand for transport. “We are taking a staged approach to meet this demand, starting with two services a week from later this year. “Once the harvest gets into full swing we expect we will be running up to six trains a week. “That means more than 5000 fewer truck journeys from Wairoa to Napier a year initially, rising to more than 15,000 as our services increase. “The Government’s allocation of NZ$6.2 million to the project through the Provincial Growth Fund recognises the benefits rail brings. “Moving logs by rail takes pressure off the roads, and reduces greenhouse gases. The Wairoa-Napier road was never intended to cope with the volume of logs that is coming on stream, and rail is the ideal way to get that timber to overseas customers. “The overall funding KiwiRail received has meant we are able to get ahead of the curve and grow our business for the benefit of this region.” “I am proud of the work that our teams have put in to getting this line up and running, and ready to play an important role in the region.” The 115 km stretch of rail line was mothballed in December 2012 following severe storm damage.

Forum on market opportunities in Northern Tas Private Forest

Australian timber industry news - Thu, 20/06/2019 - 03:00
A forum run by Private Forests Tasmania will consider market opportunities for the Northern Tasmanian private forestry sector discussing how farmers can profitably incorporate trees onto their land. Source: Timberbiz The forum will discuss current and future market opportunities with an expert panel of representatives from Forico Pty Ltd, Pentarch Forestry, PF Olsen, Reliance Forest Fibre, Koppers Wood Products Pty Ltd, Patriarch and Sons Pty Ltd, Wood Based Products, CLTP Tasmania and Private Forests Tasmania. There will be opportunities to ask questions and discuss timber marketing developments, resource availability, new market entrants, potential wood applications and more. The forum will be held at the Devonport Surf Lifesaving Club on 3 July from 6.30pm to 9.30pm and costs $20 per person which includes a light meal. Contact 03 6477 7389 or email admin@pft.tas.gov.au RSVP and prior payment by Friday 21 June.

Top 5 – Australian Hardwood Chip Exports

Australian timber industry news - Thu, 20/06/2019 - 02:59
Every month, IndustryEdge publishes Wood Market Edge, Australia’s only forestry and wood products market and trade analysis, and supplies its customers with hundreds of unique data products, advisory and consulting services. Find out more at www.industryedge.com.au 18,305 m3 – Australia’s rough sawn softwood exports in April 2019, valued at AUD6.2 million Taiwan – in April, shipments of rough sawn softwood to Taiwan totalled 8,478 m3, accounting for 46% of the total Aud2.6 million – the value of Australia’s rough sawn hardwood exports in April 2019 533 m3 – dressed sawn hardwood exports in April were toward the bottom of the range over the last year ZERO – Australia exported no dressed softwood in April 2019, a rare but not unique experience. Full details will be published in the June 2019 edition of Wood Market Edge – due out on 28 June. For subscription information, go to www.industryedge.com.au

Timber is good, but competitive materials are fighting back

Australian timber industry news - Thu, 20/06/2019 - 02:58
Timber is a sustainable weapon for a non-carbon future, but competitive materials are also fighting back, the Frame Australia Timber Offsite Construction conference was told this week. The major projects director and timber expertise leader at Aurecon, Ralph Belperio, said that the other industries were not sitting on their hands. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz “Concrete and steel are also looking to a zero-carbon future. We have an advantage – wood is the only truly sustainable material, but we should not lose sight of the fact other industries will not sit back and watch it happen,” he told the hundreds of delegates at the conference, held at Crown Casino in Melbourne. Mr Belperio said the emergence of mass engineered timber offered the opportunity to disrupt an existing industry norm. “But it will not land in our lap. If we are inactive, other materials and technologies will come to the fore and timber will be left behind again,” he said. Aurecon has shown the way by moving into the landmark timber building at 25 King Street in Brisbane – a nine-storey CLT and glulam structure over two floors of concrete – that it had built itself. “Working in this environment is better for our staff. We want to be seen as leaders in the industry and part of that is to ensure staff are looked after,” he said. Having been resident for six months, and travelling between Brisbane and Adelaide. “I literally did not want to go home,” he said. “The building makes you feel so good when you are in the building.” Because of the building’s proximity to a major tunnel, “the lightness of timber is an enabler” compared to heavier alternatives, giving timber a competitive advantage. Mr Belperio said it was a simple building, more easily allowing the installation of services. “The hero is the timber; you are drawn to the timber structure. It really negates the need for flashy architecture,” he said. Being essentially a rectangular box with a glass façade simplified much of the surfacing requirements, allowing pre-fabrication and codified design. “We flipped traditional design on its head; usually, we design pieces of plant then the reticulation, but because of the need to prefabricate, we designed the reticulation first and the large pieces of plant last,” he said. Co-ordination took place while the elements were built off site ready for delivery. Mr Belperio said a 100-millimetre raised floor enabled the company to reticulate electronic data and communications, with the flexibility to change in the future. “It allows you to rebuild a flat floor over the CLT …. This helps in a design sense. The top surface of the CLT, as it sees the weather, does get a little bit of damage and (the flat floor) negates the need to do anything to it,” he said. “The raised floor also provides acoustic separation between the floors – a good solution for buildings of this type.” Aurecon had another timber project in Singapore – a seven storey structure which when completed, was believed to be the largest CLT building by floor area in the world at 40,000 square metres – “a massive undertaking”. “Clearly timber is the hero on this project. But we are not timber zealots. We must engineer the right solutions for projects, depending on climate and local requirements,” he said. The cores were in concrete, as Singapore required non-combustible materials to be used. Mr Belperio emphasised that Aurecon was pushing ahead looking at ways to advance and promote engineered wood. The company last month held an industry workshop with collaborative partners from the University of Technology Sydney. “We pulled together some industry minds, to look at what we can do to drive this – Lendlease, X-Lam, industry representatives and us,” he said. Apart from UTS timber experts, there were people from the Business School with expertise in robotics. “It’s a true collaboration between academics, industry and the designers, fielding ideas, including a discussion around automation in timber construction,” he said. “It’s a good product that we can build quickly, but what can we do to get further efficiencies, to make it more compelling. Look at what now works and what needs to change, and integrate that with new technology.” Mr Belperio said education was crucial not just for the public, but for the people who do the work – trades and designers. “We should further standardise designs so we can put them together more easily and into construction,” he said, creating standardised systems as was done in the automotive industry. “Tessla made patents open to drive competition forward,” he said. Future actions included the industry working group and research projects into robotics and timber. Mr Belperio said Aurecon aimed to break down the stereotype of an engineer being good at science and maths, but maybe lacking in social skills. The company was trying to encourage people to think about work in different ways so that it did not become basic work that could be done by machines. “We invest in people thorough a Design Academy,” he said – a program by subscription that takes 20 people a year from a company with 7000 staff globally. “Technical mastery is taken for granted, but we train in the softer skills to become better consultants, emphasising collaboration, story-telling, art. “We are looking to build softer skills in our people, we can be better problem finders – find the problems and develop solutions in unconventional ways.” Mr Belperio said more research was required to stay ahead of the competition and go ahead. “Design professionals in the built environment must continue to learn and adapt in a changing world,” he said.

Timber construction to upskill workers

Australian timber industry news - Thu, 20/06/2019 - 02:57
The Australian construction industry needs to focus more on industry skilling and the enabling of modern construction enterprise capability, a leading construction industry expert has warned. Source: Timberbiz Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Smart Modern Construction at Western Sydney University David Chandler told the 2019 Timber Offsite Construction conference in Melbourne attempts to quantify the necessary future construction assembly practitioners to be trained for P2 assembly package by 2025 indicated 1125 teams of four to five multi-skilled would be required – 5000 assembly workers for every 10,000 dwellings to be completed per year deploying MMC. If MMC take up by 2030 was, for example 40% of the market i.e. 60,000 dwelling equivalents, the building industry would require more than 300,000 MMC capable workers. Professor Chandler said that this will require a massive re-tooling of the modern vocational and university teaching content. “The Australian construction industry needs to focus more on industry skilling and the enabling of modern construction enterprise capability building than the hype of MMC that have distracted from this investment needed for the last 20-years,’’ he said. “It is not possible to deliver better, smarter, faster and more assured construction without the necessary capabilities.’’ The Victorian Government has taken the bull by the horns in this matter, launching a pilot program through the Box Hill Institute to help meet industry demand for project managers and tradespeople who have skills in offsite construction. The Victorian Government Strategy on Construction Technologies discussion paper identified construction technology as a current priority sector. Victoria is currently regarded by many as the national leader in construction technologies and a destination for those wanting to development skills and excellence in this field. The strategy aims to stimulate local construction opportunities and grow market share in the use of innovative building products. The changes to the National Construction Code in 2016 and the local manufacturing of cross laminated timber and other prefabricated timber elements has provided Victoria with an opportunity to increase its uptake of prefabricated timber construction methods and building systems. As such, demand for prefabricated timber construction skills and knowledge is expected to grow. This will generate alternatives to traditional building construction methods and create a skills shortage in the use of prefabricated timber building systems. The construction industry is currently untrained in the assembly of prefabricated building systems; however, this pilot course will address the shortfall by providing building tradespersons with appropriate training. This pilot program is fully subsidised by the Workforce Training Innovation Fund.

Tigercat Factory Support Continues To Grow In Australia

International Forest Industries - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 13:08
Tigercat has announced that Nick Cate has been appointed to the position of product support representative for Australia.

Based in Perth, Cate will focus on providing after-sales technical and operational support to Tigercat’s growing customer base in Western Australia.

He previously worked for New Zealand Tigercat dealer, AB Equipment, as a field service technician and has a strong background in engine reconditioning. Cate has a variety of practical experience with the Tigercat product-line and has completed Tigercat training related to skidders, harvesters, track carriers and forwarders.

“Nick brings excellent hands-on technical skills to the Tigercat team with experience that will help us support and grow Tigercat’s customer base in Western Australia. Nick is a valuable addition to the support team and we are very happy to have him onboard,” says Glen Marley, Tigercat district manager for Australia and New Zealand.

After recently visiting the Tigercat factory Nick appreciates how Tigercat cares for its employees and how the company takes that same care all the way to its customers in the field. Nick explains why he is excited to work for Tigercat stating, “Tigercat is one of the superior brands in the forestry world. The company is always trying to improve, and takes customer ideas seriously.”

The post Tigercat Factory Support Continues To Grow In Australia appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Komatsu Forest presents new features of its 2020 models

International Forest Industries - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 11:53

At SkogsNolia 2019, Komatsu Forest launched an upgraded product range, with the majority of the machines new 2020 models. The machines are equipped with a brand-new engine installation conforming to the latest emission legislation. The new, future-proof control system, MaxiXT, was also launched.

Alongside these, the company presented a number of quality improvements and new functions to simplify day-to-day tasks for machine operators and to increase profitability. These include the new MaxiVision service, which takes production planning to a whole new level.

All 2020 harvester models have been upgraded, from the agile Komatsu 901 thinning harvester through the bestselling eight-wheel Komatsu 931XC to the stately Komatsu 951. Among the forwarders, the three largest – the Komatsu 855, 875 and 895 models – have been upgraded.

One standout feature is the brand-new engine installation, which conforms to the latest emission legislation (Stage V). It also offers many other benefits, such as an all-new AdBlue system, a new exhaust system and hydraulic tappets. Despite the new, larger engine installation, the machine boasts the same slim design with good all-round visibility and views – right down to the wheels.

Another new announcement is the MaxiXT control system, the machine’s nervous system, controlling everything from the engine to the crane and the head. In connection with this, the Automatic Central Lubrication option is now integrated with MaxiXT, making it easy to monitor from the cab. What’s more, on harvesters the grease tank has been doubled in size, meaning less refilling for the operator. MaxiXT brings with it improved anti-theft measures as the operator must log in to the system to start the machine, or else use a remote key with a unique operator ID.

Yet another added feature is the ability to record signal sequences to send to support, for simpler and speedier troubleshooting.

As for the forwarders, they have been upgraded in a number of areas. Smaller but important details, such as better wear plates on the front blade, longer wiper blades on the side windows and less reflection from the gate. A much-requested new forwarder feature is the SpeedShift option – a smart solution that enables the operator to use the machine’s full speed range without having to stop to change gear. This makes travelling to the landing faster and, as the collapsible steering wheel has been replaced with a handy mini steering wheel, driving there is also more straightforward.

Another new addition is the Overspeed Protection option, protecting key transmission components from over-revving.

On the harvesters, offroad manoeuvrability has been improved in several areas. Parts of the rear axle have been redesigned, providing higher ground clearance and making it easier to tackle steep ditches and other obstacles in challenging terrain. On top of this, both the tractive force and the power steering have been refined, improving offroad manoeuvrability and increasing productivity. Harvester operators will also notice a large number of additional storage spaces, as well as practical finesses such as a portable lamp to better facilitate servicing.

Moving on to the heads, there is the new Komatsu C164, which is a perfect match for the Komatsu 951. This head is based on the same technology as the C124 and C144 models, with the stem held up by the feed rollers and the delimbing knives used primarily for delimbing. The head has four powered feed rollers and the Constant Cut function, ensuring an even cutting speed throughout the cutting cycle.

In addition to the new machine features, a brand-new service – MaxiVision – was launched as part of MaxiFleet. MaxiVision helps the operator to visualise the current state and conditions of the forest. Different map views provide the operator with data about ground conditions and the rest of the team’s production, enabling them to plan their work as efficiently as possible and with minimal forest impact. Since the service is cloud-based, updates occur in real time and any changes are immediately seen on-screen in the cab.

The 2020 models were launched in conjunction with SkogsNolia in mid-June.

The post Komatsu Forest presents new features of its 2020 models appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Komatsu Forest launches a new digital visual aid tool MaxiVision

International Forest Industries - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 11:11

Komatsu Forest launches MaxiVision, a new digital tool that helps the forest machine operator to visualise the state and conditions of the forest.

Different map views provide the operator with data about ground conditions and the rest of the team’s production, making it possible to plan the work as efficiently as possible and with minimal forest impact. Since everything is cloud-based, updates occur in real time and any changes are immediately seen onscreen in the cab.

With MaxiVision, the operator can combine maps of the area with the latest data on ground conditions into a single image and, at the same time, see both the own production data and that of the colleagues – all updated in real time. The work overview is a great tool for planning production and enables the operator to make well-founded decisions. MaxiVision also allows for effective collaboration between harvesters and forwarders as each team member can see what their colleagues are doing.

The MaxiVision service not only offers team members a good overview of each other’s work, but also helps to facilitate communication between operators. By sending messages to each other or marking particular areas on the map collaboration can be improved and the outcome likewise. This unmatched integration between harvester and forwarder provides an optimised workflow and increased productivity.

Komatsu Forest is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of forest machines. The company sells its products all over the world and is wholly owned by the Japanese company Komatsu Ltd.

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Western Forest Products to curtail lumber production

International Forest Industries - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 10:11
Following on from stories in last week’s Friday Offcuts issue highlighting mill closures and the cutting of shifts at sawmills across B.C.

Western Forest Products Inc. is the latest lumber producer to announce temporary production curtailments to deal with challenging market conditions.The Vancouver-based company says it will reduce output at three of its sawmills to align volumes with customer demand.

The Duke Point facility will be affected for two weeks and its Saltair sawmill for one week in June. Operating levels at its Chemainus sawmill will be reduced to 80 hours per week from 120 hours per week. The curtailment is expected to reduce production by about 15 million board feet.

Western has an annual lumber capacity in excess of 1.1 billion board feet at facilities in British Columbia and Washington State. West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., Interfor, Canfor and Tolko have previously announced similar curtailments.

“The challenge of weak markets is compounded by the disproportionate impacts of softwood lumber duties on high-value products, including Western Red Cedar,” said Western president and CEO Don Demens.

On Monday, Canfor announced it will be curtailing operations at all British Columbia sawmills, except WynnWood. According to the company, the majority of mills will be curtailed for two weeks with extended curtailments of four weeks at Houston and Plateau, and six weeks at Mackenzie. Norbord Inc. also announced on Tuesday its intention to indefinitely curtail production in 100 Mile House, British Columbia in August, 2019

Photo: Western president and CEO Don Demens.

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Forum Wood Building – Nordic 2019

Australian timber industry news - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 01:29
Forum Wood Building Nordic 2019, which will be held in Helsinki in September, will be the eighth Nordic conference and will focus on the role of design in the future especially with veneer and massive wood construction but keeping in mind resource efficiency and sustainability. Source: Timberbiz It is the main conference for wood construction in the Nordic countries and part of the international Forum-Holzbau organization, it will be held from 25-27 September at the Clarion Hotel, Helsinki. The conference brings together academics and practitioners to exchange experiences and learn from those in the forefront in the field, with lectures from international speakers accompanied by an exhibition where different organizations show their latest products and services. Topics covered will include robotics and digital construction, future design perspectives, CLT-concrete composite floors, wood solutions in challenging geometry, a new truss concept, and there will be many networking opportunities.

Timber’s contribution to solving housing crisis in UK

Australian timber industry news - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 01:26
The UK All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Timber Industries is holding a series of sessions over the next three months into how timber can contribute to solving the housing crisis. Industry experts from across the timber supply chain are being brought together to present at three evidence sessions in England, Wales and Scotland. Source: Timberbiz The sessions will cover political challenges and opportunities, the current capacity of the timber industry in the UK, and the further development of sustainability and skills. From these evidence sessions, a report will be compiled to better understand how timber products and construction methods can be supported to create cost effective, sustainable housing solutions. The report is expected to be launched in Parliament in late October bringing together politicians and industry to create better informed policy decisions. “While Brexit may have much of Westminster at a standstill, the reality is the housing crisis remains one of the most pressing issues in the UK right now,” Timber Trade Federation Managing Director David Hopkins said. “As a cost effective and environmentally sustainable product, timber can make a significant contribution to residential construction. “With the right policies in place, the timber industry can help the Government achieve their housing targets, bolster the local economy, build a skilled workforce, and achieve emissions reduction.”

Scotland plants more wood than in past 20 years

Australian timber industry news - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 01:26
More than 10,000 hectares of new woodland has been planted in Scotland for the first time in almost 20 years. It is hoped the 11,200 hectares of new planting, up from 7100 the previous year will be enough to maintain momentum and drive to meet the next landmark Scottish Government target of 15,000 hectares by 2025. Source: Timberbiz “I’m delighted that we’ve met and gone well beyond our planting target in Scotland. “This is great news for the sector, but also for all Scotland now that the First Minister has announced a climate emergency,” Stuart Goodall, Confor’s CEO, said. “Planting trees locks up carbon and by harvesting and replanting them sustainably, we can produce an infinitely renewable supply of wood with which to build homes and to manufacture an array of everyday products – while also reducing carbon in the atmosphere. “Scotland is leading the way in the UK, with 84% of all new planting happening in Scotland. “Confor has worked long and hard with the Scottish Government to get to this point and I truly hope the momentum will be maintained in the coming years. We now need the rest of the UK to move beyond ramped-up rhetoric on a climate emergency and begin to take the positive action that we see in Scotland.” Confor has set a target of 18,000 hectares of new planting annually in Scotland by 2030 as part of its ambitious but achievable targets to drive up UK-wide planting to help mitigate climate change. The 18,000 hectare target went beyond existing Scottish Government targets, which is very positive. “This is fantastic news that we’ve smashed the targets. It is testament to the Scottish Government making forestry a priority and investing and helping growing the industry. “The whole tree planting effort has truly been a national endeavour with all forestry interests, both large and small, pulling together,” Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said. The statistics were released after the UK Government signed up to deliver net zero carbon emissions by 2050. “It is also encouraging that the conifer percentage of the new planting is higher than in the last decade, as they will be the lifeblood for the Scottish timber processing industry of the future and help both Scotland (and the rest of the UK) attain future new housing targets – and deliver many of the wood products we all use,” Mr Goodall said. Andrew Heald, Confor’s Technical Director, said: “What is particularly good to see is that so much of this new woodland has been created at relatively small scale by farmers and estate owners, indicating that the message of integrated land use is better understood. There is much greater understanding that planting trees can provide excellent shelter-belts for livestock, helping with animal health and welfare and a diversified income in the long term. “We also welcome the investment by others to buy land and create larger new forests and woodlands. We need that mix of large and small areas of planting to deliver on our wide-ranging economic, environmental and social ambitions.”

Forestry Corp donates to the Nature School

Australian timber industry news - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 01:22
The Nature School at Port Macquarie has built an outdoor learning and natural play area, thanks to donated timber from Forestry Corporation of NSW and Boral. The donated logs and sawn timber have been used to create a one of a kind natural play area for The Nature School students to explore, as well as decked learning areas that complement the outdoor learning philosophy embraced by the school. Source: Timberbiz Forestry Corporation’s Partnership Coordinator Sandra Madeley said the project was a great example of timber’s benefits as a building material. “Kids have a natural instinct to explore and be outdoors, and when approached by The Nature School, we were more than happy to support this project with donated timber,” Ms Madeley said. “We provided hardwood logs from our local state forests north west of Port Macquarie. “Seeing a local renewable resource used in place of a manufactured plastic playground is very satisfying; it’s good for our environment and good for local jobs.” Head Teacher Catherine Oehlman said she was excited with the new area. “We are absolutely thrilled with our new play space; it really combines the elements of fire, water and earth,” Ms Oehlman said. “There are lots of open ended opportunities for play, and the climbing structure is both physically challenging and visually stunning.” In addition to the logs, Forestry Corporation was also pleased to provide sawn timber as part of the Community Timber Partnerships Project. This project was formed by Forestry Corporation, Boral Timber and Planet Ark to salvage around 1000 cubic metres of flooring and decking products impacted by the Murwillumbah floods in 2017.

Marketing wood to architects, designer and landscapers

Australian timber industry news - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 01:19
Responsible Wood has partnered with The Arc Agency, a marketing specialist in the architectural, interiors and landscape design industry to connect architects and design professionals with Responsible Wood and PEFC certification. The new relationship will see Responsible Wood present the case for forest certification to leading architectural practices throughout Australia. Source: Timberbiz Speaking about the relationship, Responsible Wood Marketing and Communications Officer, Jason Ross, spoke of the importance of forest certification as a tool for specifiers of timber and paper based products. “Forest certification is a must, when a timber based product is sold with a formal claim, it provides architects with security that the timber is sourced from a legal and sustainably verified source,” he said. “As it stands PEFC is the largest forest certification scheme in the world and Responsible Wood, who manages the endorsed Australian Standard for Sustainable Forest Management, provides mutual recognition and international endorsement for timber products sourced globally. “Not only can forest certification be used by specifiers to meet timber legality requirements as outlined in the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act (Cth) but it can be used to secure valuable timber material credits for Green Star and Home Star rated building projects.” And with Responsible Wood certified forests in abundance, resource availability is not an issue for environmentally conscious architects seeking to do the right thing. “More than 11.5 million hectares of defined Australian forests are certified under the Responsible Wood certification scheme with more than 310 million hectares of global forests certified under the PEFC certification scheme. “As it stands 9% of global forests are covered under the PEFC International umbrella, a commitment by foresters to support social and environmental benchmarks. “These benchmarks originated from the Montreal Process, a multilateral commitment to preserve and manage global forests sustainably and for future generations. “In the simplest terms, PEFC and Responsible Wood is a systematic approach ensuring that wood is sourced from legal and responsible forests, protecting the lungs of the planet for future generations,” Mr Ross said.  

Upskilling and offering work in forestry for New Zealanders

Australian timber industry news - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 01:18
More than 160 workers have been referred to forestry employers as part of a push to support the 2019 planting season. With an estimated 80 million trees to be planted this season, New Zealand Ministers asked Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) and the Ministry for Social Development to ensure they were working together with industry to help meet the labour needs for the 2019 planting season. Source: Timberbiz The campaign includes promoting the silviculture industry to job seekers and promoting MSD services for employers to fill vacancies. Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said that the New Zealand Government is committed to upskilling and training people on benefit for industries where there are labour shortages. According to Minister Sepuloni, more than 300 MSD clients have been placed into forestry roles across the industry in the last year and the government is committed to ensuring that more clients have access to opportunities in the industry through the targeted tree planting initiative. “With 125 people placed in planting jobs as a result of this campaign, we are well on the way to meet the growing labour needs,” New Zealand Forestry Minister Shane Jones said. “On top of this, six people in Hawkes Bay who are unemployed and serving community service sentences have been connected with employers in the region. “It’s not just about numbers though, it’s also about upskilling our rangatahi and supporting them to contribute to a trained, safe workforce in planting, thinning, pruning and harvesting. Minister Jones said that through the One Billion Trees Program the government was supporting training initiatives across the country that will help build a sustainable, domestic workforce in the coming years. “The success of a forestry training pilot to upskill young workers in Te Tairāwhiti – Gisborne is a great example of this work – with eight rangatahi now in full-time employment. “On top of this, a workplace pilot jointly developed by Te Uru Rakau and the Department of Corrections, is underway and providing forestry training and work experience for up to 15 prisoners in Northland who will support them to be work ready on release. “These initiatives are key to supporting a vibrant forestry sector and creating real training and job opportunities in the regions. “With the additional funding being delivered through the Wellbeing Budget, Te Uru Rākau will now be able to place an even greater focus on workforce development,” Minister Jones said.

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